In the midst of escalating criticisms on the rising pollution levels in the National Capital Region (NCR), Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal addressed a joint press conference alongside Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann.
Calling for joint intervention, CM Kejriwal said, ‘Air pollution is a North India problem. AAP, the Delhi government or the Punjab government are not solely responsible. This is not the time for blame games and finger-pointing.’
Among various measures taken by the Delhi government to curb the rising pollution, CM Kejriwal announced the closure of all primary schools in Delhi from tomorrow onwards. Outdoor activities for all classes above grade 5 were also ordered to be shut down.
He further added that said that the AAP government in Punjab will take full responsibility for the stubble fire rise and stressed that the situation in the state is expected to improve by next year as several measures are set to be implemented to contain this situation.
Addressing the concerns on farm fires which have been tagged as one of the primary reasons for air pollution, Kejriwal said, ‘We have been ruling for just six months in Punjab. Farmers can’t be blamed. They need solutions. The Punjab government has taken the necessary steps. We hope that the stubble-burning incidents will be much lesser by next year.’
Highlighting a few measures that were going to be implemented by the Punjab government, CM Bhagwant Mann said, ‘Next year, in November, we expect to see better times. We will try for crop diversification… we will try to move our farmers from rice to other crops in Punjab. We can’t call farmers culprits.’